Santa Claus is famous for his flying reindeer. His Guardian Flight helicopter? Not so much.
But that might change when the Yellowstone Regional Airport offers its inaugural “Santa Fly-in” event next month.
The free event, which will take place prior to the Christmas Stroll and Holiday Parade on Nov. 26, has been designed as a community outreach event designed to get the community — and especially its younger members — interested in the operations of the airport, the airport’s administrative office manager Lisa Stott said during an Oct. 12 airport board meeting.
“We learned about this at the Wyoming Airport Coalition conference, and I just thought it was a great idea,” she said. “I think it will be great for our community and good to expose our youth to the airport and maybe get them interested in aviation.”
The highlight of the event will be the arrival of Santa Claus by Guardian Flight helicopter, airport director Aaron Buck said. Guardian Flight is Wyoming’s largest air medical provider and has two helicopters serving the state.
As families are waiting for Santa’s arrival, they can enjoy the general aviation aircraft, fire trucks and snow plows on display on the tarmac. There will also be crafts and goody bags for kids, Buck said.
“We’re asking people to just take some time and enjoy the (airport’s) atmosphere, and start Christmas that way and start their parade day that way,” he said.
Buck said the event would be grant-funded and come at no cost to the airport.
Santa’s arrival is tentatively scheduled for between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. on parade day, he said, although that may change prior to the event.